All stories by Shekhar Gupta
Have the Chinese got what they wanted?Rediff.com3 days ago
'Could the Chinese have taken a leaf out of our book?' 'That their unprecedented build-up is their attempt at coercive diplomacy with India?' 'And if so, what is it that they could be expecting as a quid pro quo?' asks Shekhar Gupta.
Who will blink first? Xi or Modi?Rediff.com29 Jun 2020
'There is a compulsion to look hard, decisive, and risk-taking; start something; and then conclude it in a way you can claim victory.' 'That is not such an easy option against China,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19 in India: Nobody is really in controlRediff.com26 Jun 2020
When BJP leaders, including Mr Modi's number two, Amit Shah, use the pandemic to launch an assault on state governments run by opposition parties, or to topple them, they are exploiting a grave crisis in cynical political self-interest, notes Shekhar Gupta.
What provoked the Chinese in LadakhRediff.com8 Jun 2020
We should have anticipated it on August 5 last year, when we made the big changes in J&K. Amit Shah left nothing to chance when he told Parliament that 'we will bring back Aksai Chin even at the cost of our lives'. 'Then, there were the new maps, objections to the CPEC going through Indian territory, the weather reports.' A broad territorial status quo had existed in Ladakh-Aksai Chin since 1962. India made its intention to change this public, notes Shekhar Gupta.
India's fight against COVID-19 has gone awryRediff.com4 Jun 2020
'The handling of the pandemic, under this totally constitutional and legal three-level dictatorship, has begun to show its downside,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
Is Modi losing his touch?Rediff.com22 May 2020
'You can't make the poor rich overnight.' 'Nor can you fly millions in planes.' 'But remember that word: Empathy.' 'Who in the BJP is speaking in that language to these millions?' 'Someone putting an arm of understanding, warmth, comfort around them?', asks Shekhar Gupta.
India is in a coma. Does Modi care?Rediff.com15 May 2020
'Flypasts, bands, helicopters dropping flowers over hospitals treating coronavirus patients are cute ideas for an Akshay Kumar film.' 'But when lakhs of workers at the lowest rung of the employment ladder would still be walking back home, this is the true 2020 equivalent of 'let them eat cake,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19 Effect: Modi is unlikely to give up new powersRediff.com5 May 2020
Four decades of federal evolution made India more secure, but coronavirus is reversing that. Modi's central government has tasted power again and is unlikely to give it up, notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19: It hasn't gone viral in IndiaRediff.com28 Apr 2020
'Our drains are not filled with bodies, our hospitals not run out of beds.' 'That good news, or absence of expected bad news, is the truth that so many in the international community, and also within India, seem unable to handle,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why the lockdown should not be extendedRediff.com22 Apr 2020
Is it sustainable?' 'Or is it like an overdose of a medicine that saves your life in the short run but kills you through long-lasting side-effects?' asks Shekhar Gupta.
How Modi handled the messaging of his biggest challengeRediff.com12 Apr 2020
'He has a gift none of his eight predecessors, from Manmohan Singh to Rajiv Gandhi, had: Being able to speak directly and convincingly to a large enough section of Indians who will take his word for gospel,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Coronavirus: Tomorrow always comesRediff.com9 Apr 2020
'A very vast majority of us will catch it at some point, about 8 out of 10 won't feel much worse than a common cold's nuisance, if at all, but some will die.' 'A very, very vast majority, at least about 98 per cent of those infected, if not more, under any circumstances, will live through it,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
Journalism in the time of CoronavirusRediff.com5 Apr 2020
Coronavirus is the biggest story of our lives and a billion plus people expect us to be around, watching, reporting, editing, recording this for posterity and blowing the whistle to draw attention to injustices and State failures, notes Shekhar Gupta.
The root cause of a riotRediff.com12 Mar 2020
Delhi was just one riot. Add Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and you can count a few scores dead. It could, regrettably, be just the beginning of a very long, dark phase for India, notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why Modi suffers from NehruitisRediff.com9 Mar 2020
'Why does Mr Modi only attack Nehru from the Dynasty?' 'At one level, it is pure politics,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
What changed the India-US relationship foreverRediff.com3 Mar 2020
In the mid-1980s, India and the US struggled to arrive at sufficient confidence for Washington to even sell a supercomputer to India for monsoon prospecting. Now, the most sensitive military technologies, data, and intelligence resources are being shared. This would not have happened without that one, big deal that changed the fundamentals of India-US relations, notes Shekhar Gupta.
Will Shah succeed as home minister?Rediff.com28 Feb 2020
Amit Shah now enters an unfamiliar and interesting phase of his political career. His success or failure will henceforth be assessed based on his performance as a key minister, points out Shekhar Gupta.
India, you have a problemRediff.com1 Feb 2020
'The global corporates are concerned: You used to have policy predictability, now it's a yo-yo.' 'New taxes and regulations pop up, some disappear soon, many linger.' 'And now the return of old Socialist fixations such as import-substitution, swadeshi, small-trader mercantilist ideology.' 'On top of all that, your ministers admonish us,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
Return of the Bharatiya 'Baniya' PartyRediff.com31 Jan 2020
'The BJP has shown signs lately of returning to its trader mindset.' 'Several strong emotions get meshed in this: Nationalism, protectionism, mercantilism, and arrogance,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
The Reinvention of Arvind KejriwalRediff.com27 Jan 2020
'Brand Kejriwal-AAP have a long way to go even if they win another Delhi election...'
'It is a force nobody can ignore, not even Mr Modi, because it will keep punching above its weight,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Youth disillusionment with Modi-2 has been rapid and deepRediff.com22 Jan 2020
'The economy is in a free fall.'
'And it's been declining for so long, so consistently, that the promise of growth and better days now looks a fantasy.' 'A mid-1970s kind of pessimism, even hopelessness, is growing among the young.' 'This isn't what Mr Modi promised them.' 'Their aspirations and needs are clear and present, and not being fulfilled,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Do Indian Muslims matter?Rediff.com18 Jan 2020
'No country or society ever prospered or remained secure by marginalising more than one-sixth of its own,' warns Shekhar Gupta.
Will Modi go the Indira way?Rediff.com14 Jan 2020
'Sounds familiar? Barring inflation, much else looks, sounds, and feels more than a bit like 1974.' 'A phenomenally popular leader, with a party of unquestioning followers, a broken Opposition, a nationalist high and an economy in free fall, crippling joblessness,' recalls Shekhar Gupta.
The Rise of the New Indian MuslimRediff.com7 Jan 2020
'Not afraid to look Muslim, not shy of flaunting her nationalism.' 'With a willingness to fight carrying the Constitution, the Flag, the Anthem, Ambedkar, Gandhi and the chant of 'Hindustan Zindabad',' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why Modi is so obsessed with PakistanRediff.com27 Dec 2019
'India serves itself poorly with its latter-day discovery of Pakistan as an instrument in domestic politics,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Citizenship Amendment Act: BJP's next Ram MandirRediff.com16 Dec 2019
The BJP knows the CAA, combined with a fresh nationwide NRC process, is an idea that's dead on arrival. Where it lives on is as a divisive, polarising instrument as its rivals have to take a position against it and thereby be exposed to the charge of 'Muslim appeasement' again, points out Shekhar Gupta.
So, what are Modi's critics celebrating?Rediff.com12 Dec 2019
'Since the rise of the Modi-Shah paradigm, the BJP has followed a simple formula.' 'Sweep the Hindi heartland and the two big Western states, and you can rule India with a majority by just adding some little bits on the platter from here and there,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
Breaking Sikhs from India is a Pakistan fantasyRediff.com20 Nov 2019
It is bound to fail like the earlier ones, again causing Pakistan enormously more damage than to India, points out Shekhar Gupta.
Mandir done, what next for Modi?Rediff.com18 Nov 2019
'You can presume that Modi and his party will now focus on the economy.' 'But then, there is the Jharkhand election next month, Delhi soon thereafter and so on.' 'And this isn't a political leadership that takes even a panchayat election lightly,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Will Modi give the Nagas a separate flag?Rediff.com15 Nov 2019
'The Nagas want a flag of their own, to share the Kohima skyline with the national tricolour.' 'The the government says you can have a flag for cultural and ethnic occasions.' 'The Nagas say that will be a bit like an NGO having its own flag,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
Why Modi needs to worryRediff.com6 Nov 2019
The winds of nationalism laden with religion will now yield to those of concern over the stalled economy, unemployment, and a general malaise and unhappiness, predicts Shekhar Gupta.
Why Manmohan is right on SavarkarRediff.com31 Oct 2019
'Savarkar was the closest the RSS had to a freedom movement icon, however flawed.' 'Indira Gandhi wasn't going to gift him to them.' 'And a non-career politician like Dr Singh understands it.' 'It is just that his party never listened to him,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Bhagwat's message to ModiRediff.com22 Oct 2019
'By holding forth on Swadeshi economics, Bhagwat is showing his intent to fight back,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Markets are fearlessly giving Modi the bad news about economyRediff.com16 Oct 2019
'If you ask India's finest business leaders, they now tell you -- in whispers, of course -- that the mood has never been so glum after 1991,' says Shekhar Gupta.
The global limelight is now on KashmirRediff.com10 Oct 2019
'The Kashmir issue has become internationalised after nearly half a century.' 'India, not Pakistan, has done so pro-actively,' says Shekhar Gupta.
The best approach for J&K is neither Israel's nor China'sRediff.com31 Aug 2019
'The one thing India has over these two States, whose toughness awes us, is our ability to embrace diversity with ease. 'The way ahead lies in learning from Vajpayee's method, not in Xi Jinping's,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Can India defeat Pakistan in war today?Rediff.com26 Jul 2019
'At this point, neither the army or the IAF has that immediate, punitive deterrent power against Pakistan.' 'Forget a three-week war; on the LoC, where the action is, Pakistan has until now fielded better infantry weapons, body armour, sniper rifles, and matching artillery' points out Shekhar Gupta.
Is Modi really unbeatable?Rediff.com24 Jul 2019
'Mr Modi may have the aura of an irresistible conquistador now, but he is human. He isn't an 'avatar,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
Budget: The joke's on the middle classRediff.com16 Jul 2019
'That Modi and the BJP can continue to treat the rising and expanding middle class this way shows that they have gamed its mind quite perfectly,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
The Modi Model of GovernanceRediff.com24 Jun 2019
'The Modi Model we see now is still the old Gujarat Model.' 'But with an acknowledgement that governing India is more challenging than governing Gujarat,' notes Shekhar Gupta.